Chances are if you’re on Instagram you have seen Prairie Sky Jewelry Co. Whether this has been because you follow myself & have seen my (un)heathy turquoise stacking cuff addiction or you have come across her page by some of the kickass western retailers in the industry who carry her line- either way, you know who they are!
But a thing you may not know about Prairie Sky Jewelry Co., is that this is a ONE woman show, that goes on.. well on the road. Kenyon Lomax is the face, designer & maker behind the brand. Thats right, every single piece that comes off of her work bench & sold on her site was designed & created with stones hand picked by Kenyon herself.
This fiery red-headed silversmith is making a name for her brand by hosting frequent shop updates broadcasted on her Instagram & selling her pieces to Western Retailers such as Savannah Seven’s, Osage Outfitters & even Cold Cactus Boutique (in Canada)! Kenyon & her husband Luke live & work on the road full time in their 37′ bumper pull camper, chasing welding work & the America Dream.
Mr. & Mrs. Prairie Sky are currently parked in Tuscon, Arizona.
I met Kenyon a little over a year ago at a Pop-Up-Shop at Farm Girl Boutique in Ada, OK. I fell in love with a turquoise stacker & had to have it! After that I actually had the privilege to work with Kenyon on a photoshoot is Estes Park, CO., but I thought it would be good for y’all to get to know her a little better as well! We did a mini interview so grab a cup of coffee & enjoy because this girl has got a good story!
G: How long have you been a maker & how did you get get started? I didn’t say silversmith, only because I know you’ve done a few other things before.
K: I’ve been at the jewelry game since 2011. I started out in my parent’s basement with hot glue, old grandma jewelry, and a lot of free time on my hands. My first year I made $50 in sales and learned the hard way that hot glue doesn’t actually WORK. It was a slow climb – I made my way into beading with seed beads and started buying gemstone strands when I could afford them. I didn’t start silversmithing until 2015.
G: Are you a self taught silversmith? If not, who or where did you learn?
K: Yes and no. In late 2015/early 2016 I had the opportunity to take on two separate apprenticeships. The first was in an art gallery just outside my hometown and was a quick lesson in how NOT to run a silver business. The second came in Spring of 2016 and allowed me 6 weeks working alongside two truly wonderful guys in the back room of a local jewelry store. Since & before then I’ve been self-taught
G: Before we get into the details too much more I have to know… what is ONE stone/gem you couldn’t live without?
K: Turquoise! I really personally enjoy included quartz stones and have a huge collection of them just waiting for the right idea to come along.
G: So I obviously agree with this answer as I have 7 turquoise stackers.. I also think that the right person needs to come around for the quartz & make a custom order because once it’s exposed more, more people will learn to love it too! So quartz lovers, where you at?!
G: Do you have another job aside from being a maker?
K: Ha, no. I don’t think I could handle anything but this. I do have a small side project going with Luke’s new tee line launch, but that’s only maybe 10 hours a week. Just for some extra info on this! Luke has a new t-shirt line designed by the working man & for the working man. The line is inspired by living on the road & to support his music which you can find on his website here: Luke Lomax Catahoula Co.
G: What does a typical work day look like? Give some examples of your day because we know you aren’t plugged into ONE thing all day!
K: A typical work day for me starts somewhere between 5-7 am. After I’ve taken care of the dogs and had a good cup of coffee, I usually sit down to 2-4 hours of computer work (emails/website maintenance/marketing/supply orders/etc). After that I work my way to the bench and stay at it until my husband gets home from work around 6. I’ll usually take a break for an hour or two to eat or visit, then we’ll both work until we can’t stand it a minute longer. He’s taken over a lot of the smaller tasks like polishing, putting together shipping boxes, making Sayulita necklaces, and most of the (silver) filing work.
G: It’s insane how much goes into this process & I think a lot of people just expect the jewelry to be the only thing that gets done all day long with no breaks or animal snuggles! I do love how the two of y’all are working together on some of these pieces, especially after you both have had a long day!
G: How would you describe your style?
K: “Inspired by 90’s Country + Classic Western Staples” is the way I usually answer that question. I like clean lines and balance.
G: Good answer, all around!
G: When do you feel most creative? How do you overcome creative slumps?
K: Right before I’m about to fall asleep! I just work through them. There’s always something that needs to be done or an order that needs to be made. Creativity is a fickle little animal and you can’t force it. I just try to keep up with my orders so that I can take advantage of it when it shows up.
G: Speaking of creativity, do you look up to any other makers? If so, who?
K: I really love Twiggy Levy of Halona Glass. I’ve followed her for maybe four years now and her take-no-shit attitude is really refreshing. She’s real, she’s authentic, and she’s unapologetically successful. Her personal style is great, her work is immaculate, and she’s done an incredible job of building a brand around exactly who she is.
G: I will need to look her up because I have never heard of her!
G: How soon in advance do you start planning for new creations/shop updates?
K: That’s kind of a tricky question. Prairie Sky is in such a state of growth right now that there’s really no set way I’m doing anything. Right now I have a slight framework for my updates – I’m trying to put out new pieces each week. The first Thursday of every month is my Turquoise Triangle update – each Thursday after that is kind of a wild card. Sometimes I’ll have an update or new collection in the works for months before I’m able to launch it and other times I’m flying by the seat of my pants the day before.
G: Since we live in such a mass produced give-me-my-order-now society, how do you handle today’s demand for people wanting their handmade orders sitting on their doorstep the day after it’s been ordered?
K: Fortunately, most of my gals really respect me + my process so I don’t have to deal with this very much. About six months ago I went through my website and added time-frame information to each individual listing. A purchase can’t be made on my site without agreeing to my terms and conditions and they are extremely informative. I think the best remedy is to just be available with good + helpful information for anyone who may not understand the process or what it really means to invest in custom silver work. These are heirloom pieces and most everyone is willing to give them the time they deserve.
G: What’s next for Prairie Sky?
K: Lots of things! I’m slowly building up the site with a good variety of made to order designs, I’m working on building a stronger presence in high-quality retailers (email me for wholesale!), and looking at potentially hitting NFR this year. In the mean-time I’m teaching Luke different facets of silversmithing and we’re shopping around for our new home-base. Camper life is for the birds.
G: Oh say what, NFR will be a huge one! Don’t remind me that it’s already 7 months away, but how exciting for you to potentially be set up there! I am also super interested to see how this goes for y’all not being in the camera full time, I feel like you may have to keep it just to work out of!
G: Where can we find you? Give us social handles, retailers, shows, etc.
My website www.prairieskyjewelryco.com
Farm Girl in Ada OK,
Western Legacy Trading Co in Hugo OK,
Osage Outfitters in Pawhuska OK,
Cold Cactus Boutique in Ontario Canada,
U Bar & Co in Hydro OK,
Savannah Sevens in KS,
Whiskey Rays in Lindale TX,
The Turquoise Rose in Longview TX,
The Ranch House (Smokin’ Joes) in Davis OK